High Flyers and Giants in charge


Senior Sports Reporter


THE two-time defending division II champions Breezes High Flyers and the Commonwealth Bank Giants, going for a repeat of the men’s title, are now in the driver’s seat of the New Providence Basketball Association’s best-of-seven championship series.

On Monday night at the AF Adderley Gymnasium, Breezes flew past the first year pennant winning Your Essential Store Giants 89-77, while pennant winning Commonwealth Bank got avenged their only loss for the season by routing the PJ Stingers 91-80.

Game four in both series will be played on Wednesday night, starting at 8 pm.

High Flyers 89, Giants 77: Breezes was flowing on all cylinders as they opened a 25-19 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended their margin to 47-37 at the half.

In the second half, the High Flyers withstood every challenge presented by the Giants as they increased their lead to 66-56 at the end of the third. They went on a 23-21 spurt in the fourth to preserve the win.

Johnathan Johnson came off the bench and scored 19 points with four rebounds, as did Jeremy Neely with 19 points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist to provide a 1-2 punch for Your Essential Store.

“After losing the first game, we came together as a unit and started playing as one and now we are just pushing our way to winning another championship,” said Justin Gardiner, who also came off the bench and contributed 18 points with 21 rebounds.

With the way they are playing now, Gardiner said there’s no reason why they should not give coach Donnie Culmer his third straight division II title and earn a trip to the Bahamas Basketball Federation’s National Round Robin Tournament later this month.

“We just have to stay focus, keep doing what we are doing and keep our intensity up and keep playing defense,” he said. “We definitely feel that we have the team to win it again this year.”

Breezes also got 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals from Shantoin Pratt. Devontee Gibson followed with six points, six rebounds and three block shots.

The high Flyers out-scored the Giants 27-16 on points from turnovers and they dominated the game on the inside with a 42-34 advantage on points in the paint. And their bench did their job with a 43-17 edge as well, but the Giants committed one less turnover, 27-26, to stay in the game.

In a losing effort, Adrian Thompson scored 18 points with six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists before he fouled out. Cameron Strachan added 14 points. Both Anderias Black (10 rebounds and two assists) and Michael Bethel (five steals, four rebounds and four assists) helped out with 11.

Giants 91, Stingers 80: It was if their only loss so far this season in game two woke up the sleeping giant in Commonwealth Bank as they rallied to get back on track for another division one title with their rout.

D’Shon Taylor had a couple of high powered baskets, either on the outside with a pair of three-point shots or inside with a couple of dunks as he finished with a game high 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead the attack for the Giants.

Jackson Jacob came off the bench and did just as much damage as he connected 22 points, 20 of which came from a 10-for-17 shooting from the field, to go along with five assists, two steals and two rebounds.

Michael Bain, still waiting for his explosive game in the series, had 11 points with six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Karon Pratt, back in the line-up, had eight points, five rebounds and two assists off the bench; Tehran Cox had seven points, five rebounds and three assists and Jeffrey Henfield came off the bench with six points, four rebounds and four assists.

The Giants got a 15-13 edge in points from turnovers, 23-15 in fast break points and 46-40 in points off the bench. The Stingers, coached by Lavardo Bowleg, had a 38-30 advantage in points in the paint.

Eugene Bain led PJ’s with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Randy Williams came off the bench with 14 points, while Devon Ferguson had 11 points, seven rebounds and two assists with a block. Salathial Dean contributed 10 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals.


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